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Become a YNAB Certified Budgeting Coach

Channel your passion for YNAB into coaching others how to find their way to less financial stress!

Financial Control—Pass It On

You’re an expert at organizing your money, and because of that, you feel calmer and in control. You just wish you could help more people find that control in their own lives too.

Change Lives One Budget at a Time

As a coach, you’ll set the stage for clients to work through massive debt payoffs, break the paycheck to paycheck cycle, send their kids to college, finally retire—the list goes on. It’s no understatement that the work you do could change the trajectory of someone’s life.

Is the YNAB Certified Coaching Program Right for Me?

  • Maybe you’re a financial planner or financial coach looking to help clients build more financial stability with a budget.

  • You might be a life coach, therapist, or teacher who sees what a difference financial control could make in your clients’ lives.

  • Or, hey…maybe you just love YNAB and want to spread the word. In all of these cases, the YNAB Certified Coaching Program is for you!

What is a YNAB Certified Budgeting Coach?

A coach expertly guides clients through creating and setting up a custom budget specific to their financial situation and needs. By pairing the proven YNAB method and powerful app with your newfound teaching knowledge, you can help your clients build a sustainable and effective system of everyday money management.

Once certified, this is your time—and your business. Just as a life coach or financial planner charges for their services, so can you. What’s it worth to someone to gain control of their finances by learning to budget? New users save $600 on average in their first two months…so…it’s worth quite a bit. And we didn’t even mention the incredible stories that will start pouring in once you help people get a handle on their finances.

What does it take to become certified?

After going through our training, our coaches will be ready to tackle any budgeting problems that get thrown their way. Here’s what certification involves:

  • Nine-week course with two live sessions weekly (2 hours/week)
  • Read and view course material, and posting in (2-3 hours/week)
  • Post and interact with peers in an online community space
  • Complete two sessions with two practice clients before course completion (Four 1-hour sessions in total)
  • Pass a rigorous final exam

Upon course completion, you’ll get a Certified Coaching badge, be listed in our coaching directory, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively use YNAB to help clients get their finances on track.

Program cost: One-time fee of $500. No application fees.

  • 10-Week Course

  • 2 Live Sessions Every Week

  • 5-10 hr Weekly Workload

  • Small Cohort of 20 People

  • Practice Clients

  • Final Exam

Course Outline

Curious about what we’ll cover? We’ve listed out each week’s live session topics, as well as the corresponding course material you’ll go over on your own time.

  • Live Sessions

    • Welcome and Course Overview
    • Practice Call Logistics

    Course Content

    • Welcome
    • Course Expectations
    • Code of Ethics
    • Finding Your “Why” In Coaching
    • Managing Practice Calls
  • Live Sessions

    • Client Personas and Situations
    • Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job

    Course Content

    • Client Personas
    • Client Situations
    • Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job
    • Other Budget Systems and the Myth of Forecasting
  • Live Sessions

    • Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses
    • Rule Three: Roll With the Punches

    Course Content

    • Rule Two: Embrace Your True Expenses
    • How to Determine True Expenses
    • Rule Three: Roll with the Punches
    • Find the Money First
  • Live Sessions

    • Rule Four: Age Your Money
    • Walking a Client Through Set Up

    Course Content

    • Rule Four: Age Your Money
    • Dealing with Variable Income
    • Preparing for your First Client
    • The Template Concept
    • How to Walk a Client Through Setup
    • When to Start Over
    • Creating Demonstration Budgets
    • The Downside of “Workarounds”
  • Live Sessions

    • Credit Cards and the Loan Planner
    • Understanding Savings

    Course Content

    • Credit Cards
    • The Loan Planner
    • Savings
  • Live Sessions

    • Debt Paydown Strategies
    • Budgeting with a Partner

    Course Content

    • YNAB’s Debt Paydown Strategy
    • Budgeting with a Partner
    • Different Ways to Divide Budgeting Work Between Partners
  • Live Sessions

    • Helping Clients Develop Habits
    • Practice Call Debrief #1

    Course Content

    • Six Habits of Successful YNABers
    • Helping Clients Develop Habits
    • Software Skills Checklist
  • Live Sessions

    • Practice Call Debrief #2
    • Practice Call Debrief #3
  • Live Sessions

    • Practice Call Debrief #4
    • Wrap Up


Praise for the YNAB Certified Coaching Program

  • The best part of this training program is the community!

    Being connected to other YNAB coaches that are just starting out, and picking the brains of the ones who have been coaching for years, gave me confidence and support I needed to launch my coaching business.”

    Coach Kerrie —Kerrie
  • Highly recommend this program to others!

    I began with what I thought was a strong understanding of YNAB as a personal user, but this training equipped me with concepts and questions I would have never been prepared to address without it. The YNAB coaching program is comprehensive, well organized, and useful. I’ve gained a level of confidence and a set of tools in teaching YNAB to others that exceeded my expectations in every way. ”

    Coach Kristin —Kristin
  • Best practical business advice out there

    Speaking as a business owner, I can say with full confidence that the written training materials in the YNAB Coaching Certification Program contain some of the best practical business advice out there. Combining those materials with the empathetic teaching from the YNAB team, I came out of the program feeling more confident and equipped in teaching my friends on YNAB.”

    Coach Andrew —Andrew
  • The official YNAB training program

    I’ve been hoping for YNAB to put out something to help me train others in a more official way and with this program, it’s exactly that. A structured process giving me the tools to feel more confident that I’m teaching the right things.”

    Coach Marian —Marian
  • This program is inspiring!

    YNAB’s certified coaching program has not only helped me be better prepared to assist others in budgeting, but it has improved my own use of YNAB. The teachers’ openness in what has worked for them, along with their warmth, encouragement, and humor has made this one of the most inspiring trainings I’ve ever attended.”

    Coach Lisa —Lisa

When does the training course happen?

A cohort runs for 10 weeks, with 2 live sessions each week.

We are not planning to run any cohorts over the summer. You can still apply now if you’re interested in future trainings! We will save your application and reach out to you when new cohort dates and times are announced.

Time Commitment

  • Attend 15 of 20 Live Sessions

    To complete certification, you’ll need to attend at least 15 sessions. A live session is a 1-hour Zoom call with a trainer and 19 other coaches-in-training.

  • Review Course Materials

    Expect to spend 2-3 hours per week studying the asynchronous course materials.

  • Practice Client Sessions

    Plan on spending a few hours a week to schedule and facilitate sessions with at least two practice clients during the last half of the course.

What are the requirements to join the program?

To get started:

  1. Pass a short YNAB knowledge pre-assessment. 
  2. Fill out an application to join the program (spots are limited). 
  3. If accepted, we’ll send you enrollment info and scheduling information for the cohort slot that works best for you.

You will not be charged any money until you are accepted into the program and agree to get started.

Program cost: One-time fee of $500. No application fees.

Meet The YNAB Coaching Team

  • Erin - Curriculum Lead

    Erin – Curriculum Lead

    Erin’s been teaching people how to use YNAB for over a decade, and especially loves training new teachers. She’s also works in curriculum development and helping other team members market the method.

  • Lee – Coaching Trainer

    Lee has been teaching live Q&A sessions to YNABers since 2011. If he’s not teaching classes, you’ll probably find him on the golf course when weather permits.

  • Dave - Coaching Teacher

    Dave – Coaching Trainer

    Dave teaches our Live Q&A sessions, interacting with YNABers from all over the world. When he’s not teaching people how to budget, he manages a homestead in Canada where he grows his own vegetables.

  • Eileen – Coaching Coordinator

    Eileen has been helping YNABers figure out their budgets since she started out as a Support Specialist in 2018. Now she’s all in on helping YNAB coaches help YNABers help themselves (🤯).

Ready to Become a YNAB Certified Coach?

Help people find their way to less financial stress! Get started with the short pre-assessment to begin your application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • We require that you attend at least 15 of the 20 live sessions, so it’s fine if you have to miss a few sessions. We will send out recordings of the live sessions that you’ve missed so that you can watch them asynchronously.

  • It’s a one-time payment of $500. There is no application fee, and you will not be charged until you’ve been accepted into the program and you’ve agreed to a cohort start date.

  • We will offer several start dates every year, so if you miss this cohort or this round doesn’t fit in your schedule, there will be another opportunity. With the staff that we have on the Coaching Team right now, we don’t expect to be able to provide any evening or weekend times. We know there are many people that are interested in those time slots, though, so it’s something we will consider offering in the future, especially as our staffing situation changes.

  • We realize that $500 is a significant cost. We feel like the program is worth it, though! It’s much less expensive than similar personal finance programs and you’re getting more than 20 hours of asynchronous content along with more than 20 hours of live sessions with YNAB coaching trainers. We are not treating this training as a profit center, so program fees go directly back into the program for teaching, tools and support.

  • Although we’d love to include everyone who is interested, in past application rounds we’ve heard from more qualified applicants than we can accept. When it comes to making tough decisions, we fill each cohort with this criteria in mind. A competitive applicant will do their best to exhibit their fit in the written portion of their application.

  • Unfortunately, no. We don’t want the cost to be prohibitive, but we will be offering coaching cohorts throughout the year, and we feel like the value it offers is worth setting a target for in YNAB, if it makes sense for you.

  • Absolutely! In our beta trials of the program we had amazing coaches-in-training from the UK, Ireland, Canada and all over the US. As long as you are able to attend the live sessions, location does not matter. Also, all of the course materials and live sessions are currently only in English, so proficiency in the English language is required.

  • Yes. In some circumstances, if you are unable to attend classes for extenuating circumstances, or if you find that the program does not meet your expectations early on, we will be flexible with refunds. Before paying for the program, you will be able to see and thoroughly vet our refund policy and terms of service.

  • No. While we wish we could hire budgeting coaches internally, it’s just not feasible. You will not be a YNAB employee and you don’t receive pay from YNAB. Instead, you are encouraged to charge your clients for your coaching services.

  • Once you’re certified, you will continue to be part of our community. You will receive ongoing training, you will be fully aware of new features in YNAB and you’ll be a part of our coaching directory. As the program is just starting out, we’re still working on all of the details for post-certification support, but it will be robust.

  • Upon fulfilling all of the certification requirements (live session attendance, passing the final exam and completing the practice client sessions) you will receive a certificate and the official YNAB Certified Coach badge/seal for use digitally and in print materials. You will also appear in our official coaching directory.

  • Not directly, but we have a Coaching Directory, where all certified coaches can be listed. On top of that, we have put together significant content going over how to find clients and we plan to provide as much support as we can in that area.

  • Good on you for caring about the fine print! You can review our Supplemental Terms and Conditions right here.